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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

Since I became a runner, I have actively tried to keep running from becoming something else I obsess about. This is why I (usually) don’t track my pace or mileage, why I don’t do a lot of races, why I don’t post any running stats on social media. (Besides, I’d rather look at photos of flowers or fall leaves or the harbor where I run, and the mere act of posting is often enough for me to say: I’m here. I did it. Let’s keep going.)

But running, like any new skill, offers chances to improve, ways to challenge myself, goals to set and (hopefully) meet. Sometimes I urge myself to increase the ratio of run/walk times on my runs: to keep going for longer before taking a break to walk. On the rare occasion I do a 5K, it’s fun to see if I can beat my previous times. And I’ve got a short list of races I’d like to run someday. (Top of the list: the Oxford Half, in my favorite city.)

For now, this goal-ish approach to running is working for me. The goal is mostly to get out there five or six times a week, to sweat, to move, to enjoy it. As long as I’m meeting those goals, the other ones are secondary. Running is low-pressure and high-reward. And, in this instance, that’s just the way I like it.

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katie fur hat

For the past few years, I’ve made a list of things I want to do, try, accomplish and/or enjoy before my next birthday. Here’s an update on the (short) list I made this year:

1. Try a new-to-me author every month. I’ve hit this one several times over. My reviewing gig for Shelf Awareness definitely helps.
2. Knit myself a pair of cozy slippers (probably from this book).* I’ve knitted two pairs for friends. Now to make myself some!
3. Visit Nantucket. (We’ll wait until it’s warmer.)
4. Buy a go-to neutral handbag (black or brown). Scored a great black bag in December.
5. Fly to San Diego to visit our friends who live there. (Photos and stories to come soon…)
6. Go to the dentist (carried over from last year). Finally scheduled an appointment and had to go back THREE TIMES. That’ll teach me to put it off.
7. Visit Prince Edward Island.
8. Attend a carol service at Harvard. Inclement weather meant I gave this one a miss. Maybe next year.
9. Spend at least one lovely long weekend in NYC.
10. Visit a place I’ve never been. (Three of the above items qualify for this one.)
11. Get a massage with that gift certificate I got for my birthday. It was lovely. Ahhh.
12. Develop a regular exercise routine. I’m going to yoga twice a week, but I’d like to add in some walking when the weather warms.
13. Write something I can be proud of.* Always working on it.

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In 2013 I have…

Last year and the year before that, I’ve made long (but non-exhaustive) lists of the things I’ve done over the course of the year. It’s so much fun to look back on a year and appreciate all it has contained.

coral-scarf-christmas

In 2013 I have:

What have you been up to this year? (Do you make lists like this?)

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I turned 30 last month, which felt rather momentous and completely ordinary at the same time. I’ve never been one to worry over milestone birthdays, but I did enjoy marking this one with our trip to Montreal, and of course, I loved the cards and gifts from family and friends.

Katie Gibson-4

For the past few years, I’ve made a list of things I want to do, try, accomplish and/or enjoy before my next birthday. I crossed off many of the items on last year’s list, but I am feeling less ambitious this year. (Besides, I’m already working on my fall manifesto.)

But I do love a good list, so here’s my fresh, new, slightly shorter one:

1. Try a new-to-me author every month, including the list of Canadian authors sent to me by a Canadian friend.
2. Knit myself a pair of cozy slippers (probably from this book).
3. Visit Nantucket.
4. Buy a go-to neutral handbag (black or brown).
5. Fly to San Diego to visit our friends who live there.
6. Go to the dentist (carried over from last year).
7. Visit Prince Edward Island.
8. Attend a carol service at Harvard.
9. Spend at least one lovely long weekend in NYC.
10. Visit a place I’ve never been. (Three of the above items qualify for this one.)
11. Get a massage (my husband bought me a gift certificate for my birthday).
12. Develop a regular exercise routine.
13. Write something I can be proud of.

(Photo by the talented Kristin.)

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Katie Gibson-6

I’m turning 30 (!) in just a few days, so here’s my last update on the list I made last September of things to do/accomplish/try/enjoy before then.

Items completed (or jettisoned) are crossed off; items begun are starred.*

1. Go back to Europe. Specifically Oxford (where I used to live). Not happening this year, between my newish job and various financial commitments.
2. Read or donate at least half the books I own that I’ve not yet read.* I’ve cleared out a lot of books. Done.
3. Go back to the Glen Workshop. Couldn’t swing it this year. See #1.
4. Visit my loved ones in Abilene. (Loved being there over Christmas.)
5. Finish a draft of my memoir. On hold for now.
6. Pay off my student loans. DONE!
7. Go apple picking for the third time. (It was glorious.)
8. Visit a place I’ve never been. (Newport, RI; the Berkshires in MA; Portsmouth, NH; Upper Cape Cod; Camden, ME; Lower Cape Cod)
9. Read 10 new-to-me classics of any genre. I’ve read 18, including Les Mis.
10. Participate in a cooking challenge with fellow Shelf Awareness reviewers. (Read all about it!)
11. Visit New York in the fall. (A weekend full of wonder.)
12. Cuddle my sweet nephew a lot. (Yes – at Christmas and in March. Planning more cuddles this fall.)
13. Conquer the snooze button.* (Still working on it.)
14. Knit a few beautiful things. (See my late winter knits.)
15. Go to the dentist.
16. Visit Canada.* (Birthday trip in the works!)
17. Reach out to two friends every week. (Social media makes this easier.)
18. Reread the Mother-Daughter Book Club series. Done.
19. Take a vacation with friends.* (Planning on this soon.)
20. Try 2 or more new recipes a month. Delicious.
21. Develop a steady, focused routine for my workdays.* (Still working on it.)
22. Re-imagine our cluttered guest room.* (Major progress.)
23. Invest in sturdy, chic black flats. Finally.
24. Eat at the food truck on the Common. Yum.
25. Get a pedicure. Ahhhh.
26. Invite friends over at least once a month.
27. Write half a dozen more essays. (I’ve written for Art House America about laundry, mending, and prayer. Now working on a series of three essays for TRIAD.)
28. Order myself a new “brave” necklace.
29. Savor the last year of my twenties. (Absolutely.)

What lists are you working on lately?

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hot chocolate burdicks journal watermelon

Every year I make a list of things to do before my next birthday, from the fun to the profound, and post periodic updates. Items completed (or, let’s be honest, jettisoned) are crossed off; items begun are starred.*

1. Go back to Europe. Specifically Oxford (where I used to live).
2. Read or donate at least half the books I own that I’ve not yet read.* (Major progress.)
3. Go back to the Glen Workshop. Couldn’t swing it this year.
4. Visit my loved ones in Abilene. (Loved being there over Christmas.)
5. Finish a draft of my memoir. On hold for now.
6. Pay off my student loans.* (Nearly there!)
7. Go apple picking for the third time. (It was glorious.)
8. Visit a place I’ve never been. (Newport, RI; the Berkshires in MA)
9. Read 10 new-to-me classics of any genre. Done!
10. Participate in a cooking challenge with fellow Shelf Awareness reviewers. (Read all about it!)
11. Visit New York in the fall. (A weekend full of wonder.)
12. Cuddle my sweet nephew a lot.* (Loved doing this at Christmas and in March.)
13. Conquer the snooze button.* (Working so hard on it.)
14. Knit a few beautiful things. (See my late winter knits.)
15. Go to the dentist.* (Made an appointment.)
16. Visit Canada. (Maybe for my 30th?)
17. Reach out to two friends every week.*
18. Reread the Mother-Daughter Book Club series. See my post about these books.
19. Take a vacation with friends.
20. Try 2 or more new recipes a month.* (I love doing this.)
21. Develop a steady, focused routine for my workdays.* (Attempting this at a new-ish job.)
22. Re-imagine our cluttered guest room.* (This is not going well.)
23. Invest in sturdy, chic black flats. Finally.
24. Eat at the food truck on the Common. Yum.
25. Get a pedicure.
26. Invite friends over at least once a month.*
27. Write half a dozen more essays.* (I’ve written for Art House America about laundry, mending, and prayer.)
28. Order myself a new “brave” necklace.
29. Savor the last year of my twenties.*

What lists are you working on lately?

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Every year I make a list of things to do before my next birthday, from the fun to the profound, and post periodic updates. Items completed are crossed off; items begun are starred.*

scone tea journal l'aroma cafe boston

1. Go back to Europe. Specifically Oxford (where I used to live).
2. Read or donate at least half the books I own that I’ve not yet read.* (Working on it, though the stacks grow constantly.)
3. Go back to the Glen Workshop.* (Signed up and making plans.)
4. Visit my loved ones in Abilene. (Loved being there over Christmas.)
5. Finish a draft of that memoir I keep talking about.
6. Pay off my student loans.* (Nearly there…)
7. Go apple picking for the third time. (It was glorious.)
8. Visit a place I’ve never been. (Newport, RI)
9. Read 10 new-to-me classics of any genre.* So far, I’ve read seven.
10. Participate in a cooking challenge with fellow Shelf Awareness reviewers. (Read all about it!)
11. Visit New York in the fall. (A weekend full of wonder.)
12. Cuddle that sweet nephew of mine a lot.* (Made a good start over Christmas, and planning to go back in March.)
13. Conquer the snooze button.*
14. Knit a few beautiful things.*
15. Go to the dentist.
16. Visit Canada, as we’re only a few hours away. (Making plans.)
17. Reach out to two friends every week.* (Continuing to do this.)
18. Reread the Mother-Daughter Book Club series. See my post about these books.
19. Take a vacation with friends.
20. Try 2 or more new recipes a month.*
21. Develop a steady, focused routine for my workdays: less frantic multitasking.*
22. Reimagine our cluttered guest room.* Lots of filing and clearing out over New Year’s.
23. Invest in sturdy, chic black flats.
24. Eat at the food truck on the Common. Love their breakfast granola, apple cider and rosemary fries.
25. Get a pedicure.
26. Invite friends over at least once a month.* Most recently, for four birthdays.
27. Write half a dozen more essays.* (See my second piece at Art House America.)
28. Order myself a new “brave” necklace.
29. Savor the last year of my twenties.*

What lists are you working on lately?

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maine bar harbor smiling photo

  • survived my second (thankfully milder than the first) Boston winter.
  • admitted that, to survive my third such winter, a light box and Vitamin D pills will be helpful tools.
  • read nearly 300 books – a personal record. (Yes, I am fast. No, I don’t “speed read.” Yes, I spend a LOT of time reading.)
  • lost a grandmother and a cousin, and grieved.
  • flown to Texas three times to visit my family.
  • become an aunt twice over, to Ryder and then to Annalynn.
  • taken J to D.C., shown him the monuments and museums I love, and discovered some new places there with him.
  • spent two wonderful long weekends (one frigid, one fall-ish) in New York City.
  • drunk SO many cups of tea.
  • taken countless lunchtime walks.
  • filled up six and a half journals.
  • overslept a LOT of mornings.
  • had my soul fed, my heart uplifted and my intellect challenged at the Glen Workshop.
  • gained about 10 pounds. (Which I’d like to lose in 2013.)
  • attended my 10th high school reunion, and marveled at the ways my classmates and I have grown into ourselves since 2002.
  • kept up a pen-and-paper correspondence with the lovely Jaclyn (who also hosted us in D.C.).
  • driven to the wilds of Maine for a super-fun wedding.
  • kept showing up for my day job, even when I did not feel like it.
  • continued to work as a freelance for my beloved alma mater.
  • taken on extra responsibilities at church.
  • realized why church work is sometimes thankless and sometimes deeply rewarding.
  • missed my family, and faraway friends, deeply.
  • welcomed my sweet college roomie and her husband for a visit to Boston.
  • paid down a LARGE percentage of the balance on my student loans.
  • written 170-ish blog posts (and hit the milestone of 1,000 posts).
  • tweeted probably more than was strictly necessary. (But it’s so much fun.)
  • joined a networking group for bookish folks.
  • celebrated my third Turkeypalooza.
  • knitted 6 hats (4 adult, 2 baby), 4 baby sweaters, 2 pairs of booties, 2 cowls, 3 mini sweaters, 1 pair of leg warmers, 1 sunglasses case, 2 pairs of fingerless gloves, and 42 wee hats for smoothie bottles.
  • fallen head over heels for Lark Rise to Candleford, finished watching Mary Tyler Moore, and continued my love affair with Castle.
  • reviewed more than 40 books for Shelf Awareness.
  • met a dozen or more online friends in person.
  • become part of a book club.
  • visited Vermont, Newport (R.I.) and western MA.
  • found a question I keep asking over and over.
  • celebrated my fourth wedding anniversary.
  • relished a rain-soaked, hilarious, memorable 4th of July.
  • soaked up all I could of the London Olympics.
  • reflected on two years in Boston.
  • struggled at times to make this life fit.
  • talked about the future with J.
  • fallen in love with a slew of new-to-me detectives, including Mary Russell, Tommy & Tuppence, Sarah Kelling, Chet and Bernie, Bess Crawford, and the Spellmans. (This has been a year for mysteries.)
  • seen both The Lion King and The Fantasticks on Broadway.
  • spent many Tuesday evenings sipping tea with girlfriends.
  • wondered what is next.

I wrote a post like this last year, and it was so thought-provoking I decided to do it again. It’s amazing to look back over a year and see what’s happened, and what I have made happen.

What have you done, experienced, read, accomplished in 2012?

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brave necklace pendant stripes

Every year I make a list of things to do before my next birthday, from the fun to the profound. Items completed are crossed off; items begun are starred.*

1. Go back to Europe. Specifically, Oxford (where I used to live).
2. Read or donate at least half the books I own that I’ve not yet read.* (I’ve donated at least a dozen and read about 15.)
3. Go back to the Glen Workshop.* (Signed up and making plans.)
4. Visit my loved ones in Abilene.* (Making plans.)
5. Finish a draft of that memoir I keep talking about.
6. Pay off my student loans.* (Chipping away at ’em.)
7. Go apple picking for the third time. (It was glorious.)
8. Visit a place I’ve never been. (Newport, RI)
9. Read 10 new-to-me classics of any genre.* So far: O Pioneers, You Come Too (poetry by Robert Frost), Emma, The Hound of the Baskervilles
10. Participate in my first cooking challenge with fellow Shelf Awareness reviewers. (Read all about it!)
11. Visit New York in the fall. It makes me want to buy school supplies… (A weekend full of wonder.)
12. Cuddle that sweet nephew of mine a lot.
13. Conquer the snooze button.
14. Knit a few beautiful things.*
15. Go to the dentist.
16. Visit Canada (we’re only a few hours away).
17. Reach out to two friends every week.* (I’ve made a good beginning.)
18. Reread the Mother-Daughter Book Club series. See my post about these lovely books.
19. Take a vacation with friends.
20. Try 2 or more new recipes a month. *So far: a new ravioli recipe, Peruvian roasted chicken, butternut squash quesadillas, black bean-jalapeno soup, cranberry-walnut cake, roasted honey-glazed carrots, mustard-garlic chicken…
21. Develop a steady, focused routine for my workdays: less frantic multitasking.
22. Reimagine our cluttered guest room.
23. Invest in sturdy, chic black flats.
24. Eat at the food truck on the Common. Love their breakfast granola, apple cider and rosemary fries.
25. Get a pedicure. (I hardly ever do this.)
26. Invite friends over at least once a month.*
27. Write half a dozen more essays, a la my recent Art House America piece.* (Working on it. Look for another one soon.)
28. Order myself a new “brave” necklace. (See above.)
29. Savor the last year of my twenties.*

What lists are you working on lately?

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quiet creativity in progress

I turned 29 this weekend and it was utterly lovely: a dinner date with my husband, phone calls from my family, lots of birthday wishes on Facebook and in real life, and a little party with friends. Not to mention some lovely gifts.

In the spirit of the past several years, here’s my list of 29 things to do before I turn 30 (30!) next year:

1. Go back to Europe. Specifically, Oxford (where I used to live). I haven’t been back since 2009 and I am determined to make it happen.
2. Read or donate at least half the books I own that I’ve not yet read. (Current count is around 60.)
3. Go back to the Glen Workshop.
4. Visit my loved ones in Abilene.
5. Finish a draft of that memoir I keep talking about.
6. Pay off my student loans.
7. Go apple picking for the third time. (Next week!)
8. Visit a place I’ve never been (I try to do this every year).
9. Read 10 new-to-me classics (of any genre).
10. Participate in my first cooking challenge with fellow Shelf Awareness reviewers.
11. Visit New York in the fall. (It makes me want to buy school supplies…)
12. Cuddle that sweet nephew of mine a lot.
13. Conquer the snooze button.
14. Knit a few beautiful things.
15. Go to the dentist.
16. Visit Canada (we’re only a few hours away).
17. Reach out to two friends every week (I want to stay more connected to those I love).
18. Reread the Mother-Daughter Book Club series. (The next book comes out in October.)
19. Take a vacation with friends.
20. Try 2 or more new recipes a month (I loved doing this last year).
21. Develop a steady, focused routine for my workdays. (Less frantic multitasking.)
22. Reimagine our guest room (currently rather cluttered).
23. Invest in sturdy, chic black flats.
24. Eat at the food truck on the Common, just for fun.
25. Get a pedicure. (I hardly ever do this.)
26. Invite friends over at least once a month.
27. Write half a dozen more essays, a la my recent Art House America piece.
28. Order myself a new “brave” necklace. (I lost my pendant when the chain broke, and I miss it.)
29. Savor the last year of my twenties.

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